I have always been fascinated and had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge on anything to do with healing, as is typical of an Empath. I have constantly searched out different healing modalities in the quest for salvation from my Empathic traits and have always been on the lookout for that miracle cure…
In the days before I learnt of my being an Empath, I would get frustrated by the fact that I didn’t get the desired, expected or promised results from the many holistic treatments, I tried and even learnt; that others had sworn by. It was only after I discovered of my being an Empath, that I realised most of my maladies were coming from external sources (other peoples’ emotions) and the therapies that were beneficial to some, in dealing with stresses and other emotional states, were of no use to me. But that did not stop me from searching for an antidote. Unfortunately, I can not lay claim to having found the solution to impede or quash the barrage of unwelcome, incoming energies, I have, however, found ways to tolerate and lessen the symptoms.
What I have learnt and continue to learn is that knowledge is the key to safeguarding our wellbeing. We are ultimately responsible for the health of our body, mind and spirit. I always had an inkling and then later a knowing, that this life is a DIY (do it yourself) job/journey and that, after childhood, relying too much on others, to take away our pain or make our life easier, is not the answer. We are answerable to ourselves and it is up to us to discover what will help and/or hinder our wellbeing, mentally and physically.
Empaths tend to be hardwired for learning and are constantly on the lookout for therapeutic techniques, not just for themselves but for others too. Just the act of reading this or any other similar blog, is in the quest of healing knowledge and a way of looking for the answers. I’m sure we would all love to find a quick fix or miracle pill to take our, and others, woes and pains away, but then if everything came easily, there would be no sense of accomplishment in life. And that is not to say I believe life should be a struggle and a constant uphill battle, we just need challenges and lessons to help us grow and we can do that through taking self-responsibility.
As we are all so very different, what works for one, does not always work for another and because of this it can prove difficult to find out what is best for our personal healing. Bearing this in mind, I would suggest that finding out one’s individual body type is a must in the interest of our health and sanity, and we can do this through the healing art of Ayurveda.
I have long been an advocate of the healing powers of yoga on the physical body and mind (hence becoming a yoga teacher) but I never seemed to get it quite right with diet and digestion and it is only recently that I have made the connection with diet and our body types.
A part of my yoga teacher-training was devoted to the study of Ayurveda, an ancient healing practice, thousands of years old and a sister science to yoga, in which we discovered our body constitutions or prakruti known as the doshas.
The meaning behind Ayurveda can roughly translate to the science of life and its aim is to bring balance and health to both body and mind. This is achieved through various Ayurvedic methods, but one essential element that firstly needs addressing is what we put into our mouths, whether that be hot/cold, wet/dry, sweet/sour, bitter or pungent. Before we can find what to eat for optimum health, we need to discover our dosha type.
There is much free information out there on the net in regards to Ayurveda and dosha types but to explain in brief: it is said that we are all born with one basic constitution (dosha) which are known as, Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. 80% of us are born with one primary dosha and the other 20% will have a dual-dosha or even tri-doshic type. Dependant on your type will depend on what foods to enjoy in abundance and those to avoid or eat in small amounts. For example, a Kapha type who tends to be on the heavier side, dislikes the cold, puts weight on easily, is sluggish, can have oily skin, suffer from excess mucus and in general be very laid back in life, a diet consisting of low-fat, low-sugar, low-wheat products and plenty of spicy food should be consumed. Then for a Vata type who, among other traits, tends to have dry skin, fluctuating energy levels, an ever whirring, restless mind, be of slim build, quick to anger and quick for anger to subside; a diet consisting of sweet, warm, moist and oily foods is followed (not processed food). It goes against the grain of what the Western world has promoted, in that a healthy diet is beneficial to all. An incredibly healthy food, which is great for one dosha type, may not be so good for another.
The three dosha’s and the 5 great elements they are composed from (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To determine the dosha type you were born with, visit: http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/constitutions/ or http://doshaquiz.chopra.com/ and do the dosha test. When answering the questions it is best to cast your mind back to late childhood, early adulthood, because this is when you were most likely your true dosha type, before you got imbalanced from a stressful lifestyle, wrong diet and exercise et-cetera.
There is a wealth of information on both websites about your dosha type and what foods to eat, or to avoid, to balance it/them. You can also discover how much exercise is beneficial to your type and whether eating your food hot or cold is a consideration. It is always best, if you get chance, to visit an Ayurvedic practitioner, who will give you a reliable diagnosis of your dosha. If this subject is of interest, you will no doubt find yourself perusing the web for hours searching more information on Ayurveda and the doshas.
So how does this information help out an Empath? Finding your dosha certainly won’t take away the difficulties we have to endure, but if we balance our dosha types it is just another step towards overall balance. Empaths take on so much from others and can spend much of the time feeling exhausted just from dealing with external influences. Sometimes it can be hard to tell what belongs to us and that which belongs to another, but if we know that we have balanced our body, mind and spirit through eating, drinking and exercising according to our type, being in balance will help us discern the energies and then use the tools that we have found helpful in dealing with toxic energy overloads. We have to remember that as humans we will still suffer from our own range of emotions, anger, anxiety and fear (finding your dosha will also determine whether your type is more prone to certain emotions than another) caused by life situations.
These days we can not afford to get ourselves any more out of balance than we already are. If we are not physically in good shape, through healthy exercise, good nutrition and mind stilling exercises, then we will be vulnerable to a whole host of illnesses ready to knock us out of our groove (stressful emotions lead to illness, whether they are ours or not). I know on some days just putting one foot in front of another can be a real effort and even just thinking about exercising is hard work, so it is my advice that on these, low energy, days you should think of doing some passive stretching and restorative yoga. Basically, it is putting your body in certain poses and let gravity do all the stretching work, whilst allowing your breath to rejuvenate the body. When it comes to Empaths and exercise, a little is always better than none.
We are currently in the throes of a huge transitional shift and there are a lot of fearful and heightened emotions out there. If it’s not the energies of other peoples’ pain bodies we’re dealing with, we’re being floored by the many solar flares that are pounding the planet. Now, more than ever, we need to look after ourselves. If you haven’t already, check out Grounding Techniques for Empaths and Sensitives, you may find some useful tips. I have also found supplements quite helpful too. As they say, ‘every little helps…’
If you are an Empath, I empathise with you for what you will probably be going through or have already been through. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we wouldn’t have agreed to take on all that we do if there wasn’t a very good reason for it. So, chin up, smile and keep plodding on…